The Middletown Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing on the electric tariff that will be imposed on the proposed 52.5 megawatt natural gas plant for the Middletown Technology Center – also known as the Middletown data center.

A resolution on what the electric tariff will be is expected to be approved by the town at tonight’s meeting, clearing the way for the project’s proponents to move to the next stage in the process – apply for the required DNREC air permits.

By law, those wishing to generate electricity must pay a tax to the town. Power plant proponents plan to use the electricity they generate to supply power and add redundancy to the data center, but they also plan to sell it back to the grid.

The project has received some opposition from residents concerned about the possible health problems of having a natural gas generating plant in the community. The project site is about one-mile away from schools and residences.

In previous council meetings, many of these residents insisted that the town ask project proponents to look into renewable energy sources to generate electricity instead of using fossil fuels. Residents also requested that the mayor and council held off on approving the project until they received more information on the health consequences, noise pollution, and impact on home values. All of the five members in the town council, however, have given their unanimous approval to the project at each stage of the process.

According to the local chapter of the Sierra Club, the jobs that the power plant and data center will bring to Middletown will likely go to professionals living outside of the town as their tasks will require specialty skill sets.

Tonight’s meeting is open to the public and starts at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall Council Chambers, 19 W. Green St., in Middletown.